Canon supports aspiring young photographers in Kenya with professional community workshops

44Reaffirming a commitment to nurturing young talent in the community, Canon, a world leader in imaging solutions, hosted a professional photography workshop in Nairobi, to provide  emerging young photographers the opportunity to gain new knowledge and enhance their skills in this specialized profession.

The week long workshop, hosted by the world renowned photojournalist Gary Knight, a Canon Master, encouraged attendees to build their professional photography portfolio by producing a story or suite of images. With access to Canon Equipment, attendees were consulted on their projects and benefited from private tutorials and creative group editing sessions. Participants include, Louis Nderl, Daniel Irungu, Humphrey Odero, Msingi Sasis, Emma Nzioka, Gathoni Kinyanjui, Solan Kolli, Paul Kariuki Munene, Edward Echwalu, and Mutunga Al-Amin.

Anurag Agrawal, Managing Director, Canon Middle East said: “At Canon, we are committed to supporting the communities where we live and work and are privileged to be able to provide a creative learning environment that nurtures young talent and allows emerging photographers to take their skill set to the next level. Through Canon’s professional workshops we are able to provide educational opportunities in communities where access to institutional photography education is costly and limited.”

The evening guest lectures, a highlight of the week, were open to the public and given by renowned professional photographers including Canon Ambassadors and local Kenyan photographers, Jonathan and Angela Scott, two times Pulitzer Prize winner Tyler Hicks of the New York Times, award winning Kenyan photographer Boniface Mwangi, AFP staff videographer and photographer Nichole Sobecki and independent documentary photographer Mariella Furrer, who resides in South Africa. The week closed with an exhibition of the students work at community arts initiative space ‘PAWA254’.

Commenting on the workshop initiative, Gary Knight said: “Africa - especially sub Saharan Africa - is too frequently represented outside of the continent by photographs from non-African photographers, to a much greater extent than any other region I know. This is a significant problem for Africa and for anyone interested in Africa; how can we understand this massive complex continent with any sophistication if the storytellers are principally outsiders? Professional education, mentoring and collaboration are methods of helping to redress this imbalance.

“Short professional workshops have an important function in education through learning by practice.  There is a paucity of codified experiential photography education in East Africa so we have come here as a first small step to see what we can do to help amplify the voices of local photographers.”

In keeping with Canon’s Kyosei philosophy of living and working together for the common good, Canon Middle East was recently awarded for its CSR efforts by the Dubai Chamber and received the CSR Label for the third consecutive year. In addition, Canon Middle East was recognized at the GEC Awards for its wide range of community activities that addressed the environment, healthcare, sports and personal development.

Canon Middle East serves as an active partner in the communities it operates in, by working with governments, scientific, academic, humanitarian, and arts and culture organizations, to integrate corporate social responsibility across all elements of the business.

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